Faena Dis­trict set to siz­zle in Mi­ami Beach

China Daily (USA) - - MIAMI SPECIAL - By AMY HE in New York

With the pend­ing open­ing of the arts, en­ter­tain­ment and re­tail com­plex in the Faena Dis­trict in late Novem­ber, Mid-Beach Mi­ami Beach could be­come a cer­ti­fi­able hotspot where celebri­ties and the wealthy con­verge in a mas­sive de­vel­op­ment lo­cated in the mid­dle of North and South Beach.

The Faena Fo­rum, Faena Bazaar and Faena Park — an arts venue, re­tail com­plex and car park, re­spec­tively — are all named after the Ar­gen­tinian hote­lier and de­vel­oper Alan Faena, who de­vel­oped some­thing sim­i­lar in Buenos Aires more than a decade ear­lier.

“We re­ally wanted to set a new tone to Mi­ami Beach,” he told China Daily. “This area was mainly aban­doned and was a tran­sit area. No­body was in­ter­ested in this part of the city.”

The 52-year-old founder of the Faena Group had to aim to cre­ate an arts en­clave of sorts, en­list­ing the help of ar­chi­tects like Rem Kool­haas, Nor­man Foster and film di­rec­tor Baz Luhrmann to de­sign the var­i­ous parts of the de­vel­op­ment com­plex.

The $1 bil­lion Faena Dis­trict project com­prises the Faena Ho­tel Mi­ami Beach, res­i­den­tial tow­ers and the Faena Fo­rum, Bazaar, and Park.

“We put the best minds in the world to cre­ate and think how a new utopian place can be. We have the chance to de­velop it [and] this is what we did. I think now we are at a cru­cial mo­ment be­cause it’s all go­ing to open very soon,” he said.

Faena said that the de­vel­op­ers also have their eyes on in­ter­na­tional tourists, who steadily stream into Mi­ami.

“Mi­ami is grow­ing. There are more flights com­ing in

We put the best minds in the world to cre­ate and think how a new utopian place can be.”

Alan Faena, de­vel­oper all the time. It’s one of the most amaz­ing cities in the world: the leisure, the qual­ity of life, is some of the best in the world. It’s a one-of-a-kind place and it’s grow­ing ev­ery day,” he said.

The city has been mak­ing more of an ef­fort to court Chi­nese tourists, work­ing ex­ten­sively with Chi­nese me­dia to pro­mote the city’s brand. It is cur­rently de­vel­op­ing a tele­vi­sion series with a Chi­nese broad­caster to ed­u­cate po­ten­tial trav­el­ers about what the south Florida city has to of­fer.

Faena said that he ex­pects the Chi­nese will have plenty to do in the Faena Dis­trict:

“I think we have a lot of en­ter­tain­ment that Chi­nese peo­ple would love — great food, great shows. We have a theater, we have a fo­rum, we have gardens and that’s what the Chi­nese peo­ple like,” he said.

The 18-story res­i­dence tower in the dis­trict at­tracted much me­dia at­ten­tion when it was re­ported that hedge fund man­ager Ken Grif­fin bought a du­plex pent­house for $60 mil­lion, which was a record-break­ing price for a sin­gle-fam­ily home in Mi­ami. Lloyd Blank­fein, CEO of Gold­man Sachs and Larry Gagosian, art dealer, both pur­chased units there as well.

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